Saturday, June 24, 2017

Camp Songs with Ella Jenkins and Friends

Ella Jenkins, know as The First Lady of Children's Music because she's devoted her life to instilling a love of music in kids, is turning 93 in August.  She's not letting her age preclude her from continuing to entertain and educate audiences of all ages though.  The artist, who received a Lifetime Achievement GRAMMY from the Recording Academy in 2004 and is celebrating 60 years as a Smithsonian Folkways artist this year, just released a new album titled Camp Songs with Ella Jenkins & Friends.

Jenkins assembled a group a group of children, parents and teachers from Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music along with Tony and Kate Seeger from Camp Killooleet to provide an album full of beloved campfire sing-alongs that have been sung by generations of campers.  She selected some of her favorite tunes from her own childhood camp experiences as well as from having worked at summer camps as an adult.  Camp Songs with Ella Jenkins & Friends begins with a chorus of children singing the familiar "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" which was one of her favorite campfire songs as a child.  She made sure to include selections on the album that reflect a broad array of traditions including African-American spirituals and European folk songs.  One of the songs, "Everybody Loves Saturday Night" has lines in a dozen languages, including Mandarin, Hindi, Serbian, and Nigerian.

Although Jenkins only takes the lead singing one song on the album, "Sipping Cider Through a Straw," The First Lady of Children's Music is an engaging presence throughout it singing in the chorus, harmonica playing, and conversing about camp experiences and musical traditions with her assemble from the Old Town School of Folk Music.  She selected all of the songs performed for the album and provides introductions for many of them explaining why she picked particular tunes.  Wanting to promote the fun, bonding experience that people share when singing these camp songs together; the album's final give numbers, which include "Sloop John B" and "Goodnight Irene" are sequenced to resemble a campfire sing-along.

This 25-track collection is a great family-friendly way to entertain children during a vacation car ride, inside the house on a rainy day, or of course while sitting under the stars during a camping trip.  Click here to stream a selection of songs from the album from SoundCloud. Camp Songs with Ella Jenkins and Friends is available to purchase through Smithsonian Folkway Recordings, Amazon, and iTunes.

Plus you know that I love to give stuff away, so A GEEK DADDY also has an album to giveaway to one lucky winner.  See it pays off to read all the way through my posts doesn't it?!  I will randomly select one winner who submits entries via the rafflecopter form below.  Must be over 18 years old and have a United States mailing address (No P.O. Boxes) to be eligible to win.  The selected winner must respond to their winner notification email within 48 hours or a new person will be selected to receive the prize.  Smithsonian Folkway Recordings will be responsible for delivery of the album to the winner. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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